Muradpur Awadan village, 5 km from the town, has reported 60 cases of gastroenteritis. The disease was first reported on Wednesday. Fourteen patients had been admitted to the Mukerian civil hospital, of which three were referred to a private hospital in Jalandhar.
Five patients have been undergoing treatment at a health department camp in the village gurdwara. Twenty patients have been admitted to two other private hospitals of Mukerian.
District immunisation officer, Dr. Ajay Bagga, led a health team that visited the village on Saturday. The team checked another 100 people in the village, of which 25 people were diagnosed with mild symptoms of gastroenteritis.
Dr Bagga said medicines were being provided free to the patients. On patients being admitted to private hospitals, he said that the department never recommended any private hospital. It was the patient's choice, he said. The team also inspected water sources in the town to zero-in on the cause.
Dr Bagga said that the tubewell that supplied water to the village had a non-functional chlorinator, leading to the supply of countermined water. He added that seemed to have caused the outbreak.
The health department has decided to set up a medical camp in the village for next three days. The department has also distributed chlorine tablets in the village. Residents have also been advised to drink only boiled water. Village sarpanch Dilabar Singh accused the health department officials of negligence in their duty.
He said that the Budhhabar primary health centre had been seized of the matter as soon as the first instances of the disease were reported. He added that if timely action was taken, the spread of the disease could have been contained.